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Literary Criticism Poetry

Ragas of Longing

The Poetry of Michael Ondaatje

by (author) Sam Solecki

Publisher
University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2003
Category
Poetry, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780802085436
    Publish Date
    Sep 2003
    List Price
    $42.95
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9780802037633
    Publish Date
    Sep 2003
    List Price
    $95.00
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781442678989
    Publish Date
    Sep 2003
    List Price
    $97.00

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Description

In Ragas of Longing, Sam Solecki offers the first book-length study of Michael Ondaatje's poetry and its place in his body of work. Relating the poetry to various poetic traditions from classical Tamil to postmodern, Solecki presents a chronological critical reading of Ondaatje's six volumes of poems. Among the study's concerns are the relationship between the poet's life and work, his poetic debts and development, his theory of poetry, and his central themes. Also present are close readings of Ondaatje's monographs on Leonard Cohen and Edwin Muir, the Scots' poet and critic.

Solecki suggests that Ondaatje's poetry can be seen as constituting a relatively unified personal canon that has evolved with each book building on its predecessor while simultaneously preparing the groundwork for the following volume. The author argues that Ondaatje's writing has a narrative unity and trajectory – a figure in the carpet – determined by crucial events in his life, especially the early breakup of his family and his subsequent exile from his father and place of birth. The result is a body of major poetry whose vision is post-Christian, postmodern and, despite an often humourous tone, fundamentally tragic.

About the author

Sam Solecki is a professor of English at the University of Toronto and a former editor of The Canadian Forum.He is also editor of Beyond Remembering: The Collected Poems of Al Purdy, Starting from Ameliasburgh: The Collected Prose of Al Purdy and Rooms for Rent in the Outer Planets: Selected Poems 1962-1996. His most recent books are Ragas of Longing: The Poetry of Michael Ondaatje and The Last Canadian Poet: An Essay on Al Purdy.

Sam Solecki's profile page

Other titles by Sam Solecki